According to a report published by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), there are around 12.1 crore unintended pregnancies across the world every year. One in seven of these unintended pregnancies occurs in India.
This year’s ‘State of World Population Report’ states that unintended pregnancies account for 48 per cent of all pregnancies in the world. Though accidental, only 61 per cent of these pregnancies end in induced abortion.
The report suggests that India’s priority should be to assert the need for family planning and contraceptives, while also providing access to safe abortions. The report has suggested dealing with the high rate of unintended pregnancies in India, thorough research should be conducted on “the drivers and impacts of unintended pregnancy”.
“India has made major inroads in terms of sexual and reproductive health and rights. The population is stabilising, the number of preventable maternal deaths has reduced, and there is increased uptake of reversible and safe modern methods for family planning,” Andrea Wojnar, the UNFPA’s representative in India and country director for Bhutan, said in a statement.
“However, the 2022 State of World Population Report brings to the fore the silent crises of unintended pregnancy… with more than one in seven cases of the 121 million cases worldwide occurring in India,” Wojnar noted. “What is also concerning is that 67 per cent of abortions have been classified as unsafe, putting women and young girls at unnecessary risk,” she added.
In fact, the report also says that 13 per cent of women in developing countries get pregnant even before the age of 18. Wojnar concluded by saying this should be treated as a wake-up call and actions should be taken to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies in India.